Webdesign & Webapplications
If you just need a personal website, or if you need a full-fledged webapplication, just get in touch to discuss your requirements and get a quote.
Cybershaman by the Graces of Electron.
If you just need a personal website, or if you need a full-fledged webapplication, just get in touch to discuss your requirements and get a quote.
In the infamous 'Chaos Report' published in 1995, researchers found that only 16.2% of software projects are completed on-time and on-budget. As a reaction, a new generation of IT experts was educated to prevent this and consequently, in 2012 the same group found that now 39% of IT projects are successful.
I can help your project be amongst these.
For me, photography started as a hobby, in the meantime I have become confident enough to offer my services as a photographer for events & portraits.
You can check out a selection of my sample pictures in my portfolio.
A good website is not necessarily the first to appear in Google search, and a the best page is for naught, if it lacks content.
I can give your website the prominence it deserves.
If your computer is smoking, or did it decide to go out with a loud bang? Dropped your laptop on the floor? Caught a nasty little virus? Or does it just not behave as it should?
Quick, call for first aid!
I should not have to mention it, but that is figuratively speaking. If your house is literally on fire, stop browsing the web and call the firemen.
Currently, I am the project leader for the Tablet-Guide project of the Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zurich. My responsibilities here already include managing the requirements and expectations of the stakeholders from the exhibition team as well as acting as the interface to the programmers of the guide.
For intefo AG, I work as software engineer for the electronic road tolling project for intefo AG, where I am responsible for custom embedded Linux client/server software maintenance and development.
Support and maintenance of the website on a small budget, after initial development has been completed by another programmer.
In addition to the pictures you see on this site, I have had the opportunity to be the designated photographer at a variety of events all around the world.
I have taken pictures from illustrious personalities, such as the Prince of Liechtenstein, a Federal Councillor and an Ambassador of Switzerland.
Here, you can access a small selection of the photos I have taken so far.
A sample flyer, created in 2013 for the discharge of a professor for cultural anthropology at the University of Zurich.
Here you can find a list of my publications. Truthfully, I have not yet been printed in a respectable publication, but in favour of open source and open access, you can access most of my term papers below.
|2014||Social Factors in Development & Environmental Conservation in Madagascar||Raphael Ochsenbein||Research Proposal, Online|
|2014||The Violent Nature of Revolution||Raphael Ochsenbein||Self-Publication, Online|
|2014||Sapphire Mining in Madagascar||Raphael Ochsenbein||Self-Publication, Online|
|2014||Social Sustainability in HCI Design Practices||Raphael Ochsenbein||Self-Publication, Online|
|2013||Guide to: 1 Weekend in Boston||Raphael Ochsenbein||Self-Publication, Online|
|2012||Studying Virtual Cultures||Raphael Ochsenbein||Self-Publication, Online|
|2012||The Eight Elements of Shamanism and the Ewenks||Raphael Ochsenbein||Self-Publication, Online|
|2012||Der Prozess der Normalisierung neuer Technologie am Beispiel von assistierender Reproduktionstechnologie||Raphael Ochsenbein||Self-Publication, Online|
|2012||The Implications of the NATO Strategy for the European Security Policy||Raphael Ochsenbein||Self-Publication, Online|
|2012||The Tokyo Game Show 2012 & the Swiss Gaming Industry||Raphael Ochsenbein||Self-Publication, Online|
|2011||The Influence of Online Trust Across Cultural Borders||Raphael Ochsenbein||Self-Publication, Online|
|2011||Japans Reisproduktion: Der Versuch einer Selbstversorgung||Raphael Ochsenbein||Self-Publication, Online|
|2010||Querying and Personalizing the Web: A Multimedia Personal Assistant||Stephan Vock, Raphael Ochsenbein||Self-Publication, Online|
|2010||The Gaming Industry’s Impact on Japan||Raphael Ochsenbein||Self-Publication, Online|
|2008||Handlungszuschreibung||Raphael Ochsenbein||Self-Publication, Online|
|2005||Maturaarbeit: Wie Programmiere ich eine RTS-Engine?||Stephan Vock, Raphael Ochsenbein||Self-Publication, Online|
This text describes the current state of the research on virtual cultures. It is argued that a lot of the research does not account for the role game designers play and that future studies should try to remedy that in order to gain a deeper understanding of virtual worlds.
Similar to the two sides of a coin, Madagascar is one of the world’s richest countries in terms of biodiversity, but also one of the world’s poorest countries economically. This ‘coin’ of Madagascar would have an area of 587k square kilometres and a population of 22.3 million people, making it the 4th largest island of the world (World Bank 2013). Walsh describes a month’s wage of a cane cutter as being around $40 and contrasts this to the boasts by a sapphire miner who calls that very amount his minimum daily wage (2003: 290). While this is certainly indicative of a high-income disparity, Walsh explains that the money gained by these miners is considered ‘hot money’, and is immediately spent on ‘living the life’ and is certainly not the norm for a majority of Malagasy people.
Overall, a vast majority of the people have incomes similar to that of the cane cutter, and can only dream of the wealth of a sapphire miner: The World Bank estimated the threshold of monetary poverty in Madagascar to be at FMG 988,600 per year per person, and found 69.6% of Malagasies living in poverty (2003). Since then, poverty has increased to 77% in 2010, reaching the highest poverty rate in Africa with the country suffering even more during the aftermath of the Euro crisis (World Bank 2013). The gross national income per capita was at USD 430 in 2012 (ibid). This, in combination with other factors, explains Madagascar’s 151st rank in the human development index published by the United Nations (Malik 2013: 143).
However, the rich nature offers an antithesis to Madagascar’s monetary poverty. The country is classified as one of the eight “hottest hotspots” for “areas featuring exceptional concentrations of endemic species and experiencing exceptional loss of habitat” (Myers, Norman, et al. 2000: 853). For instance, over 80% of all plant species are native, making it responsible for nearly 2% of the world’s plant biodiversity (Myers 1988: 189, 190). This unique nature of Madagascar was formed more than 60 million years ago, when a continental shift deposited the island at its current location and evolution could thrive in isolation (cf. Tilghman et al. 2005: 1, 2).
The dominant narrative with regards to the natural wealth of Madagascar is one of an impending threat, where deforestation endangers the Malagasy biodiversity. One report on the progress of the USAID environment programs over the last 25 years in Madagascar with the title “Paradise Lost?” is indicative of this (Freudenberger 2010). And it is often the local residents that are branded as the villains, because the impoverished local residents are supposedly destroying nature through swidden agriculture (Shyamsundar & Kramer 1997, Gezon 1997, Kull 2002). With the local population being the culprit of environmental unsustainability, it is not surprising that the development programs have a strong focus on promoting environmental conservation.
International funding to the country is strongly concerned with protection of the environment in Madagascar. While the World Bank reports that the ongoing political crisis has made it impossible to achieve most of the Millenium Development Goals, it boasts “substantive results” in the area of environmental protection (World Bank 2013). In fact, the only concrete positive results the World Bank reports in Madagascar concern the environmental sustainability: a “75% reduction in the rate of deforestation over the past 20 years”, the “Creation of 2.4 million hectares of national parks”, and the “Sustainable management of 4.5 million hectares of landscapes, primarily by non-governmental organizations (NGOs)” (World Bank 2013).
Recently, such programmes have come under critique by journalists and scholars as continuing colonial and neo-colonial appropriation of resources under the discourse of “green grabbing” (Fairhead et al. 2012). Green grabbing is defined as the expropriation of land or resources for environmental purposes and is embedded in the debate on land grabbing in general (Corson & MacDonald 2012: 263). The core insight of the discourse on green grabbing is that ecosystems are compartmentalized and commodified, leading to a “neoliberalization of nature” (Fairhed et al. 2012: 254). This is best exemplified by one paper that estimates the annual costs for the establishment of the Mantadia National Park for the households in the vicinity of the to be at USD 49 – 18% of their gross total income (Shyamsundar & Kramer 1997: 183).
The view of nature is dissonant to the perceptions of the local population. When Caroline Seagle confronts her Malagasy informants with their poverty, they answered that Madagascar is not poor, “the problem is Mivarotra tanindrazana (Selling off the land of the ancestors)” (2009). The importance of “Tanindrazana” for the Malagasy is highlighted by the constitutional Motto of the country: “Fitiavana – Tanindrazana – Fandrosoana” (Love, Fatherland, Progress) (Le Comité Consultatif 2010, Article 4).
This contrast between a conflict of foreign and Malagasy interpretations of things and events has a clear historical precedent going back to the Merina kingdom which ruled the country before the French conquest in 1895 (Bloch 1971: 28, 30). In his analysis of the peasant society in Madagascar, Bloch observes that this rift permeates to the core of the Merina society and thus dedicates most of his book on the two schemes of interpretation dictating agency in Imerina (ibid: 33).
In this context, my research will be focussing on the discourses surrounding land and environmental conservation in Ambohitantely and Mantadia, Madagascar. I will attempt to describe how these discourses affect the lives of the local communities with the hope that the result will allow for a translation between these views and therefore support the articulation of the needs and wishes by the various local stakeholders.
The Derg revolution in Ethiopia during the year of 1977 was a bloody one – in the so-called red-white terror, all urban opposition to the revolutionists was violently destroyed until Mengistu Haile Mariam held unquestioned power (cf. Donham 1999: 134-135). In fact, the red-white terror and the massacre that ensued became known as “the most horrifying carnage in the history of the country” (ibid: 135). A witness of the period describes the experience as follows (ibid: 134): “All the houses were watching each other, spying on each other, sniffing each other out. This is civil war; this is what it’s like. I sit down by the window, and immediately they say, ‘Somewhere else, sir, please. You’re visible from the street. It would be easy to pick you off. A car passes, then stops. The sounds of gunfire. Who was it? These? Those? And who, today, are ‘these,’ and who are the ‘those’ who are against ‘these’ just because they are ‘these’? The car drives off, accompanied by the barking of dogs. They bark all night.”
The terror was modelled on the example of the Russian revolution and served the classic functions of violence in a revolutionary state, namely to produce political demobilisation, enabling the regime to organise itself (ibid: 136).
Terror – and the violence that creates it – often comes with a revolution, and for authors such as Frantz Fanon, the anti-colonial revolution ultimately requires violence, or to use his own words (2007: 1): “[…] whatever the name used, whatever the latest expression, decolonization is always a violent event.”
In the definition of the term ‘revolution’ proposed by Thomassen, violence is described as often being an aspect of the social transformation wrought in the revolutionary process, even if it is not always part of the process (2012: 684).
As the above examples prove that violence is an important aspect of rebellions, the following thesis will have a deeper look at the definition and significance of violence in contemporary anthropological theory and practice. First, a theoretical framework for an anthropology of violence will be established, before select aspects thereof will be discussed. In the conclusion of the text, these paradigms will again be applied to rebellions.
An analysis of the eight elements defining shamanism and their modern representations with the historical example of the tribe of the Ewenks.
First, at the very root of shamanism is the ritual ecstasy, through which the shaman is able to separate his/her soul from the body and send it on a journey.
Second, the shaman is aided by and or has the ability to command rtheriomorph spirits. A shaman is usually associated with a specific group of such spirits who can take the form of different animals like bears, birds, wolves, deer or rabbits. He further states, that there are animal mothers, usually in the form of either reindeer or bulls which are “soul-bearers” of the shaman and who act as alternative form for the shaman.
Third, the shaman is chosen and supported by non-theriomorph guardian spirits. Shamans are often chosen to become shamans by a guardian spirit who only rarely has the form of an animal. He describes that after being chosen, a shaman would get a sickness with the only remedy being the acceptance of their fate.
Fourth, when the chosen one finally complies with the spirits, he/she has to complete an initiation, culminating in a ritual centred around a mystic death and resurrection of the candidate. The climax of the ritual is the ecstatic event during which the novice experiences his body being cut apart by the spirits who then tear the flesh from the bones and proceed to put purified flesh on the bones and resurrect the initiate afterwards.
Fifth, as the initiation ritual occurs in the netherworld, it is the first of possibly more travels to the beyond, another ability that distinguishes the shaman from ordinary people.
Sixth, without a distinct cosmology differentiating between the earth and the other spheres, the shaman cannot distinguish himself through travelling to those places.There are usually at least three spheres, earth, heaven and underworld. However, it is also possible for the spheres to be divided into additional levels.
Seventh, the shamanistic complex is also marked by the occurrence of shaman fights, which are mandatory duels to death between two shamans, respectively their animal alter egos.
Eight, the practitioner is marked by the shamanistic equipment, which consists mainly of a headdress, a cloak and a drum.
With the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the image of the world was transformed permanently. Not only did new forms of threats to the global security arise, but new political structures were formed as a response to the changed political landscape, perhaps culminating in the foundation of the European Union (EU) with the treaty of Maastricht, which became operative in November 1993. This forced the established peace-keeping forces like the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) to adapt in order to guard its legitimacy. The shift of focus following those changes may best be observed in the new strategic concept of the NATO (1991), the same trends continuing in the strategic concept of Lisbon in 2010. There they claim to be an instrumental partner of the United Nations (UN) and the EU in the defence of their common values, namely peace, freedom and security.
While the NATO strongly aligns itself to the EU, the European Union on the other hand is more interested in creating stronger ties with the United Nations. In order to understand the strategic concept of the NATO, it is just as important to analyse the security strategy of the European Union, not only because both alliances would like to see a stronger cooperation with each other.
While the Swiss media mention the European Union mostly on account of the financial problems the Union faces at the moment (see for example NZZ 2011), it is a powerful agent for security and stability on the European continent, as the strategic report of the EU asserts (2008: 1). On the 19th of April, 2012 Adolf Ogi, former member of the federal council of Switzerland presented the efforts of Switzerland in the context of the partnership for peace (pfp). He stressed how important it is to actively offer cooperation for the sake of a stable and secure world, lest the country be forgotten in irrelevance. In conclusion of the examination the security strategies of both the NATO and the EU, the role of Switzerland in the context of the European security policy is going to be discussed.
This text describes the mediating role of online trust on the behaviour of people on the Internet. Building on current literature on the topic, the definition of online trust is extended in order to account for cultural influences on trust. After laying out the theoretical foundations, the implementation of a browser extension, that could serve as an instrument to measure online trust, is given. In the end, a review of the used literature is provided and the limitations of the extension are discussed.
This text will take the reader to Ankarana, a national park in the northern part of the country and the sapphire mining operations by the local Malagasy population therein.
As it will be shown, these miners are mostly migrants from other parts in the country, hoping to escape social stratification and earn a fortune by finding valuable gemstones. This phenomenon will be analysed in the broader theoretical framework of the “frontier” as a cultural element common to the Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole.
The field of the sapphire mining in Madagascar plays to the strengths of cultural anthropology, where global interests intersect with the local life and leads to pro-found impacts on the lifestyles of the indigenous population.
Recent developments in climate change science does not help to inspire great confidence in future developments: One study published last November even estimates that the magnitude of the increased warming of the earth will increase even after zero carbon emissions by as much as 25% more than previously estimated, due to various feedback effects.
Furthermore, it is unlikely that the lofty goal of reaching a state of zero carbon emissions can be reached in a useful timeframe, as the environmental policy-making is only progressing slowly, as political scientists are quick to note. They state that global environmental governance is suffering from a legitimacy-deficit, leading to a stalemate in global climate negotiations.
Meanwhile, many researchers in the sustainable HCI community are working on their own approaches to resolve the problems caused by overconsumption in in-formation technology. In the following, this paper will summarise the current state of the scientific work in sustainable HCI, before engaging in the critical discourse raised by the postmodern thinkers of the field.
The Tokyo Game Show (TGS), together with the E3 in Los Angeles and the Gamescom in Cologne, is one of the biggest events organized by the video game industry. The following report provides an overview of the Tokyo Game Show and its implications for stakeholders in Switzerland.
Welcome to Boston. Enjoy.
Insights into some of the basic building blocks of an RTS engine in C++.
Searching the web and finding the information needed becomes more and more an almost impossible task. In the last couple of years we've seen new approaches to the web, such as the Wolfram search engine or some rather big adjustments, as seen on Google search. With K-Dime a personal image search filter there might be a new and even more sophisticated way to browse the web than we knew so far. By using Kansei Engineering to create a personal search engine for every user we might be able to improve search results and to decrease the time used for any particular search.
The Japanese not only play completely different games than the Americans; they also play on different consoles. According to surveys on the top 100 games in Japan, the Japanese enjoy just a handful of games not made in Japan. Or as Cuthbert in Winterhalter puts it: “Western games don’t appeal to the average Japanese gamers sensibilities.”
This text has a deeper look at the Japanese gaming industry.
My personal blog,
less frequently than celestial events occur,
but more often than this webpage,
can be accessed at blog.akehir.com.
Currently, I am studying for my Masters degree in Cultural Anthropology and Computer Science at the University of Zurich.
To balance my academic involvement with practical work, I also provide the following freelancing services.
You can access my detailed employment history and my academic background as a pdf file posted further below:
Aeusserer Gsteigweg 10
Mobile: (+1) 857 23456 10
Landline: (+41) 44 586 0771